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Hardball With Chris Matthews

News/Business. (2012) (CC)

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01:00:00

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ac3

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1080

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Us 13, Connecticut 7, America 6, Nra 4, James Johnson 3, Alabama 3, Baltimore 3, Newtown 3, Washington 3, Larry Johnson 2, Clint Van Zandt 2, Malloy 2, Nbc 2, Michelle Franzen 2, Advair 2, Spiriva 2, Michelle 2, Florida 2, Louisiana 2, Christin Welker 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2012)  (CC)  

    December 14, 2012
    4:00 - 5:00pm PST  

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all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. if you're still having difficulty breathing, ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com. good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight, we have to get our heads asround it to understand why things like this happen will take much longer. but let's get to it. we've got michelle franzen on
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the scene, clint van zandt, psychologist jeff gardeer. we have nbc white house correspondent chris tin welker. we've got larry johnson, the president of the national association of school safety and law enforcement officials and james johnson, baltimore county police chief. first we go for an immediate update to my msnbc colleague, michelle franzen. michelle, thank you for staying with us tonight. >> well, hi, chris, we're here in the newtown area of connecticut, just nearby a couple of miles from sandy hook elementary where the shooting, tragic shooting, took place earlier today. at this hour, hundreds of rez dents are gathering at a nearby catholic church for a vigil. holding a prayer for those who have lost their lives today, those youngest lives, anywhere
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between kind eergarten and four grade where those student were shot today. they're holding a prayer vigil and trying to comfort the families that they were told lost their loved ones in this town. it's a small new england town in this area. a very rural area in the central part of connecticut here. and the school, certainly k through 4 that with mentioned, we don't have the identifications or the ages of the school children and their names that are being released. what we are being told is that investigators are processing that school now. they will be dealing with identification of those students and trying to return them as governor malloy says of connecticut, back to their families so they can mourn and grieve their loss during this time. this community certainly just now getting out of the sadness and shock part and this grief heavily starting to set in. what we don't know about the shooter at this time is his exact identification. they're trying to process that information, as well.
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there are numerous reports that they're trying to figure out the kpan exact identification he had at the time. but those family who is have lost those children, 18 who died at that school this morning, chris. two others that were transported to a local hospital and died later. and six adults and then, also, the shooter that died. 27 people in all killed in this small area community here. and more details that we'll be learning about the heroics inside that school as this tragedy played out. we're hearing about how teachers that were in that section of the school where this happened, when they heard shouts or the shooting that started to begin, that they gathered those children and they hovered in an area and we've seen the images of parents who were reunited with some of their children.
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we 'seen some of the expressions. many told to cover their eyes as they came out of that area. again, this tragedy, we're getting used to hearing this, but, chris, this shooting involving some of the youngest victims this time around. >> let me ask you what we know about the time. here we are at 7:00 eastern right now in our second edition torrent. and i'm asking a very tough question. the bodies of the young children, and that's what they are, young children, 20 of them now all together, the 18, are their bodies still being held at the elementary school? >> i think investigators are still trying to deal with that scene there. and we've heard from law enforcement that they are beginning to work through that school to identify the bodies, to get the bodies out of there. but we are told by one law enforcement officer that's kriebing the scekrieb
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i describing the scene on the inside, that it's very difficult to deal with. the bodies in there that they have to deal with and what they have to view that it's going to take several days to actually make sure that they're able to process that scene in there. gentlemen, thank you. we do know a bit from all the reporting by the major organizations, new york times and associated press and our own nbc efforts here. it was basically a guy who had mental illness history of some kind. he got up this morning, killed his mother. took guns that were registered in her name, including an assault rifle and two semi-automatic pistols with lots of ammo. headed off to the school where she thought and her two classrooms. after killing a number of administrators, adults, and began to kill the students, where there's 20 dead. what does it tell you? can you get to anything if that's all you knew? >> no, it's really hard to tell
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exactly what was going on with this person. there are a lot of people in this country who have mental illness. at any one given time, it's estimated that about 25% of this country is suffering from a mental health disorder. now, only 1 to 2% of people have a really serious health disturbance or they might be sigh kpsychotic or delusional. but just because somebody has a mental illness -- >> of course not, no. bud psychosis, and the ability to kill your mother and 20 kids? >> you know, there are so few cases of things like this, it p makes it very hard to study. we know that sometimes men in particular will kill their kitz just to get back at the woman because they know that that's the most effective way to hurt the one that they really love. so i think that in this particular case, maybe, he killed his mom. and then he wanted to kill the things that his mom loved, as
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well. that's why he went back to the school and killed the kids that she's been involved in teaching over the years. >> let's get another view, a second opinion. i know that we're only getting the profile of this case. we're looking at the fact that this 20-year-old killed his mother and then went in and k l killed 26 people. and there we have it. what does that mean? i mean, it doesn't happen. it rarely happens. your thoughts? >> yeah, it does rarely happen. but i think what was going on here, the possibility that he could have killed himself, killed a person who's very close to him, who's his mother. maybe someone else and then killed everything that his mother believed in, which was education and nurturing children. it tells me that, yes, this is about extreme rage but also
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about severe mental illness. to kill the most innocent parts of our society. bad enough the teachers, administrators, but to kill innocent children, this is a rage that i believe was fuelled by delusion. psychosis. he is at that age for onset, possibly, we doenn't foe know f psychosis, schizophrenia. he knew he was not going to come out of this thing alive. and that was his major statement about hate towards his parents, towards his mother, but especially towards the world. >> is it premeditated? >> i believe that this was premeditated. it was part of his long standing, i believe, duelusiona system where this had been building up for quite some time. but, again, part of that delusion. a lot of people will say, well, he couldn't be insane if he planned this out. insanity is a legal definition. so what we know right now is that this person had some
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severe, mental illness. that's all we can make as far as an educated guess. >> but legal sanity is the ability to know the difference between right and wrong. how do you determine that in this case? >> well, in this case, we don't know what he was thinking as far as what was the difference from right and wrong. certainly what he did was extremely wrong. you have to go back to the pre-morbid history. if we don't see a very long history of psych yach rik illness and we don't really know whether he was on medications, whether he had problems with compliance with meds or whether his family knew that something was going only, which i suspect they probably did. this does not come out of the blue. >> josh, i've read about people who are hired killers. they get used and hard to doig anything you can imagine.
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going in and shooting young kids, kindergarten age, in their face. literally in cold blood. literally knowing it's the real world he's in. how do you cross over from fantasy and sigh quo sis? >> well, when people are in the midst of a psychotic episode, they really can't distinguish between reality and what they're experiencing. i think it would not be appropriate just to say because head's doing this in realtime, that he actually understands and appreciates what he's doing. he may be in a complete psychotic state. i think it's hard for people to understand that some people can meticulously plan. they can execute something like this, be psychotic and have no idea what they're doing. >> what's the role of suicide? is that essential to this kind of multiple shooting? where does it fit here? >> you know, i don't think that necessarily the suicide mean
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much in terms of the real reason why he did something like this. i think he knew there was no way to get out of this thing without facing massive consequences. >> jeff, your thauoughts about suicide? this obvious mass murder situation? >> i see it a little bit different. by looking at many of these cases of the mass shooters, they have made a decision. they made the decision that this is going to be terror, horror and then they're going to take themselves out. there's no way they're going to come back from this, so everybody is going to die, including themselves. >> is this a statement to society they're making? in their own, horrible way? who are they talking to when they do this?
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jeff? who are they addressing with this horrible act. that they want to know that they did it. >> they're addressing society. you marginalize me. you don't think much of me. you hate me. you don't want me to be part of you. and, in fact, what we know, chris, this is what they really think about themselves. and then they project it onto those loved ones and they project it out to society. so this is the way where they perhaps felt like they have no power. now they have all of the power. and that's why they can stare a child in the eyes and shoot them point-blank because they are in control of that horror. >> dr. wiener, who are they talking to? >> well, you know, i think that what they're trying to do is send a message that they mean something in this world. it's a very sick way. but i've seen people in my practice who actually talk to me about having these fantasies of going in and committing mass atrocities.
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when i ask them about it, they say well, my life means nothing. and when they look at people who seem happy, who seem like they're doing well in life, it makes them really angry. and so they feel like they want to make a difference and this is their way of doing it. >> you know a lot more than the rest of us. thank you, drvoctor. we'll be back with more coverage in the horrible shooting at sandy hook elementary school. [ mother ] you can't leave the table till you finish your vegetables.
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we've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. and each time i learn the news, i react not as a president, but as anybody else would. as a parent. and that was especially true today. i know there's not a parent in america who doesn't feel the
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same overwhelming grief that i do. the majority of those who died today were children. beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. they had their entire lives ahead of them. birthdays, graduations, weddings. kids of their own. among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. >> we're back. that was a very emotional president obama early this afternoon at the white house. nbc's christin welker is live from the latest in washington. christin, it's such an interesting and powerful moment
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in the presidency. being president is to be us. is to be our em blematic person and to react almost like the adult in the family the grown up, you know? >> absolutely. absolutely. and president obama today add miting that he was responding to this to this tragedy not only as the president, but also as a father who has two daughters. and that is how he watched these horrific events unfold. we certainly saw that raw emotion come out when he addressed the nation a little bit earlier today. the other thing that stood out about his comments, chris, he talked about the need for meaningful action, saying it is necessary regardless of the politics. he didn't go into details today. i expect during the coming days and weeks, we will learn a little bit more about what he meant specifically about meaningful action. the last time he talked about gun control and this type of issue were in the days after that horrible shooting in aur a
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aurora, colorado. i'm going to read you a little portion of that speech because it fleshes out what was behind his words today. the president saying he believes in the second amendment. but i also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that a.k. 47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. that they belong on the battlefield of war. i believe the majority of gun owners would believe that we should do everything possible. that a mentally unbalanced individual should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily. so those are some of the policy issues, i think, that are behind those words that he made today. and, again, we expect those words to be flushed out in the coming days and weeks. i can tell you that this debate has already begun here at the white house. people going online expressing their frustration, their sadness, their grief today on the white house web site. but also calling for stiffer gun legislation.
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but president obama was notified about this tragedy at about 10:30 this morning. he has been receiving updates throughout the day. he reached out to the director of the f.b.i. as well as to the governor of connecticut, governor malloy. also express the fact that the federal government will stand with the president as it deals with this unspeakable tragedy, not only emotionally, but offering up its full resources to the state of connecticut as it begins the healing process. what will undoubtedly be a long and dark process of that state. the president ordered the flag lowered at half staff and throughout washington, d.c. and to your initial point, chris, the president making it clear that this is something that is not only a tragedy for the state of connecticut, but the tragedy for the nation, as well. his emotions certainly overflowing today. one of really the most emotional
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moments that we've seen from this president. >> i agree with you completely. thank you so much, christin welker. we'll be back with more cove raj of the shooting at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. to the best vacation spot on earth.
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trying to make sense of this tragedy together. i think we have a live view of that vigil at this hour. and several people have commented who are attending the vigil tonight, that they just wanted to come together. that, of course, many of them knew of the children at the school, whether they made it out or did not survive today. and they knew the families. it's a very close knit community here. so they're coming together, trying to offer their condole e condolences and trying to make sense of what could have possibly prompted the shooter to go ahead and take such -- so many innocent lives today as these tragic events unfolded. this vigil will probably see more events like this in the days to come as the community comes together to make sure that they are around for these families. of course, any time of the year, any place this would happen would be tragic. but, of course, we're coming
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upon the holidays. there's a lot of holiday decorations in place, the local fire house was supposed to be having a christmas tree event tonight. instead, they were offering refuge to those families who had lost their children today at that school. it is a close-knit community. the governor said evil has touched this community today, but they will come through this. we've also heard from secretary duncan who also said that they will be here to make sure they get through this tragedy. there's also been an out kl pouring of emotion people reaching out from that area knowing exactly what these families are going through today, what they're going to be going through in the weeks and the years ahead.
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we're watching the governor making his remarks. >> in these times of trouble, when the unthinkable happens in our very midst, our faith is tested. not just in the religious sense, not necessarily in our faith in god, but our faith in community. and who we are and what we collectively are. and it's, in so many ways, permissible to have those thoughts and doubts about who we are and what we are and what community represents. but that we turn to understand as we turn around this room and recognize our friends and our neighbors. those we have done things for and those who have done things for us.
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this is a great and beautiful community located in a great and beautiful state in a great and beautiful nation. in the coming days and coming weeks, i would pray that you all embrace one another. that you lift one another up. that you understand the difficulties that you collectively will undergo. keep in your prayers the children who lost their lives today. keep in your prayers the aadulthoadults who lost their lives today. understand that a test is just that. that which we rise to and answer and respond to. as many of us prepare to celebrate the birth of christ, understand that that, too, will bring sorrow as we think about these instances that have happened so close to those days.
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that, too, will pass. all of the public officials who have assembled here today and in the presence of your great select person, i bring and extend the con doll lances of this entire state. may god bless you. may god bless our children who were with us today and those who were taken away. my god bless the aadulthodults t their lives today. thank you. >> that's governor dan malloy. he happens to be a democrat, in fact, that couldn't be less relevant tonight. i have to tell you, that was a good service. it's so obvious thoo all of us americans go to church when things like this happen. we'll be right back with more "hardball" and our continuing
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got it.
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as a country, we have been through this too many times. whether it's an elementary school in newtown or a shopping mall in oregon or a temple in wisconsin or a movie theater in aurora or a street corner in chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods. and these children are our children. we're going to have to come together and take more action to prevent tragedies like this. >> meaningful action. today's tragedy in connecticut brings the issue of guns to the
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forefront of america's minds tonight. with me are two people with personal experience with gun violence, u.s. congresswoman carolyn who lost her husband in a 1993 mass shooting on a commuter train. by the way, we called the nra, the national rifle association hoping to get someone from that organization on tonight. they said they're not commenting until more information is thoroughly known in this case. congresswoman, thank you so much for coming on. i know this brings it all back, but i thought it was great. i said we've got to get carolyn mccarthy because her reason to be in public life, to take on the voters to deal with the public life was this issue of the horror that hit your husband. >> and it was. you know, it's not funny, but, yesterday, in my office, we sat down to plan what we were going to do for the next term.
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and i said, listen, i came here to congress to reduce gun violence. we have to do something about it. the president's words meant a lot to me today because his tone was different. we have to take this head on. and i know that the white house had said earlier that this was not a time to talk about gun violence. you know what? they're right. it should have been years ago so that hopefully we wouldn't have had to go through this. there are things that we can do to hopefully cut down the amount of killings. but my heart goes out to the families and for those that lost their loved ones. here we have the holidays. this is when the christmas tree is up, the hanukkah lights are lit. children shouldn't have to worry about going to school and facing these kind of tragedies. but my heartbreaks for the survivors and the parents because i know what they're
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going to go through. i know that i'll be lighting another candle tonight for all of those families about praying for them. but the conversation has to go forward. >> i remember when bobby kennedy was killed. and johnny carson, we all liked in those days, said i never asked the people to do anything like this, but write your congressman. so i dutifully wrote my congressman about kbun control. but the people who care about reasonable gun control get concerned when an e moegtsal horror like this ou curs. and then the nra comes back to its fund raising. the people concerned with the gun horrors lose interest. how do you sustain a balanced look at gun control and gun ownership in this society. >> i think that because we have to keep that message out there, all of the time, and not wait for a tragedy like this that happened.
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>> when you think ablt it, a couple of weeks ago we had a shooting with an nfl player. one of the commentators. he couldn't believe the hate mail he got. he couldn't believe how people came down after him. that's why people are afraid to speak out. they're afraid of the nra. they're afraid of the large lobbyists. and that's the same thing, chris, as the members of congress. whether republican or democrat, you see that that they cow behind and not getting anything done instead of standing up. they're afraid they're going to lose their next election. if we can save a whole bunch of lives, isn't that what we're supposed to be in congress for? it's not taking away the right of someone to own a gun. >> next up, you were at virginia tech, you're a survivor down there.
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and i'm glad you were. here you are. but a lot of people in the gun ownership side, the second amendment people say if a bunch of people have guns, they could shoot this guy down when he walks in the door. i can imagine what we heard the days ahead. if some of those school officials would have been armed, they could stop them before he got to the kids. >> right. you'll be hearing it. but i don't understand it. we are the most armed country in the modern world. and we have the most problems with gun violence. if more gunnings solved our problems, then we'd be the safest country. the conversation that the vast majority of americans are having is the reasonable middle ground. that's something that gun owners, nra members support themselves. it's the leadership that has this absolute extremist approach. but the real people understand that having a background check is not going to stop them from getting a gun.
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>> these were two glocks, semi-automatic weapons -- >> and a bush master. >> yes. can you stop access to getting if they broke mentally when they bought the guns? or they got them from someone else who got them of sound minds. the laws don't control an easy transfer. you can sell it to a friend, lend it to a friend or steal it from a friend. >> right. there's not one thing that's going to stop all shootings. and we can't always have the conversation about how can we have prevented the last shooting that happened. we need to be talking about the i eight kids that die tomorrow. >> tell me about the bush kl master. >> that's a gun that wasn't sold in our stores. it's a high-powered, military well. it's something used in war zones. it has no place in our society.
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and think the vast majority of people like gun owners realize that. >> you must have watched the president today when he spoke with such emotion. he's such a cool guy. we know that. that's a nonpartisan assessment. today, he had to stop himself for almost a minute there. we've just been struck again by one of our own, one of our own has killed 28 people that are dead today that would have been alive tonight having dinner and enjoying friday night. it's a fact. and he had to say that to the country. how do you get across the fact that this isn't the kind of thing that has to happen. it's the kind of thing that might not happen. >> i would say to the president,
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there are out there. go to the may your and get the 700 mayors that are trying to make a difference to reduce gun violence. and i agree with my colleague that, you know, it's not one thing that's going to stop all of these kinds of shootings. we're talking about going over the financial cliff. oir states right noul have closed their doors to young adolescence and to people who need counseling because they have anger. so i mean, these programs all have to be put in together. that's who we, as a society, and we, as politics, should be doing. but i have to say. i do agree with the president today. it doesn't matter whether you're a republican or a democrat. i know an awful lot of nr aerks members that agree on the background checks. i agree when we passed
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legislation after va sa tech, but we haven't had it fully funded. in the courts, anybody who's been adjudicated to be mentally i ill, has a domestic violence or a felon, they should not be allowed to have guns. but they're sitting in a courtroom somewhere but p but we cannot computerize them because they don't have the money to do it. all groups should come together and the nra should be working with us. >> it's interesting. the nra is very good at training people how to use weapons. they do care ablt gun safety at a certain level. you have to understand u without becoming a crusader on all of this, it isn't a perfect slope. >> thank you for coming tonight. this is "hardball" tonight with
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welcome back to "hardball." if you're trying to comprehend the tragic, mass shooting up in connecticut today, the question remains can students at school ever be a hundred percent safe? joining me right now is former f.b.i. profiler, larry johnson, president of national school safety and law enforcement officials. and on the phone, james johnson, chairman of the partnership to prevent violence. we well, mr. james johnson, chief, i want to ask you about your reaction to this in terms of baltimore schools. is there anything that's developed since the hard days of columbine where schools take more responsibility to prevent the entry of someone who's dangerous? >> well, certainly, we don't know the facts about what is unfolding today up north. but there's been a lot that's taking taken place since columbine. we have immediate intervention. but the very progressive action
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taken by schools all across america, as well. >> what are you saying in terms of metal detector. you can perhaps keep a kid from -- oh, we've got the press conference starting. we have to go back to the state police press conference in connecticut to get the latest. here we go. >> and then we're going to establish -- we have a process established in place that we're going to utilize to identify each individual. >> we're cautiously optimistic that we can have positive ids by tomorrow. we're working together to hope to accomplish that. >> does that include the body of the other male? >> the families have been identified. the preliminary identification has been made. through ro cess of elimination, the families have been told. but, again, we want to be
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positively, absolutely sure. >> certainly they're with us, working with us. there were f.b.i. and a.t.f. offering ability in case something crosses state lines. simply stated, everyone's come together in the law enforcement community. this is a massive investigation. so many law enforcement agencies don't ever have to undertake. so we're certainly newtown state police working side by side utilizing any resource we may need and we're very appreciative of all of the help that we're getting. >> at this point in time, we're confident that we have the shooter. >> you ire talking about the shooter in the classroom? >> yeah, i'd rather not do that, quite frarngly.
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>> i've been a trooper for a long time. it's just something that serves no useful purpose. i'd rather not get into that. it's a horrific scene. between our mutual experience, we've never seen anything like this. it's heart wrenching for us as it is for the families. i'd like to leave that there. >> i think what we've got to do, we're looking at that. we'll go backwards as far as we have to go in this investigation. hopefully, we'll stumble on answers and hopefully not develop anymore more questions. but we want to be able to build a process and build a story. an investigation like this is like a puzzle. we want to put this puzzle together and form a complete picture so that everyone without any doubt whatsoever can truly understand what occurred. what i would like to say is that we'll come back tomorrow in the morning, let's say 8:00 in the morning to let you know how we have progressed overnight.
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as we prepare the list of positive identifications, i want to do one list. i don't want to do it piecemeal. i don't want to do a couple here, a couple there. i want to do one finalist. the minute that's done, we'll be here with it, and we'll also post it on our website so it's available to everybody. all right? >> what is your timeline for the other -- of your officers with this situation, the way they were able to get those kids out of there and keep them calm and get as many out as quickly as possible? >> these guys, when they got to the door, were first in the door, and the surrounding pds and the troopers, their training kicked in. this is something that you train for, you train for, you plan for, you work towards, you hope they never have to use. and their training kicked in. they saved a lot of lives. they did a great job. they did a great job. extremely proud of them. i'm sorry? >> what can you tell us about the shooter at all? >> i'd rather do that in the morning, once we have positive identification, even of the shooter. we want to have all that information. and hopefully we can tie up some
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loose ends for you first thing in the morning. but i would like to leave it where we are right now. and, you know, we'll fill in the voids tomorrow as much as we possibly can. >> is your timeline for the other crime scene the same? >> i'm sorry, this young lady? [ inaudible ] >> no, the connecticut medical examiner is managing the cases, and he did request some assistance in equipment that has been brought in for him. but he's -- they're there working now. >> how did row first hear about the shooting? what was the -- >> in a nutshell, it was 911 calls that came in to newtown state police, and the response was instantaneous, okay. >> from within the school? >> yeah, from school sources. >> one call? multiple calls? >> i'm not sure. and yes, i believe so, but i don't know how many if that was the next question. >> what are they saying about the father?
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>> we've been contact with any authorities, our investigators with any authorities that can assist them in furthering their portion of the investigation. i do know that new jersey has been mentioned. there had been two or three different locations that had been mentioned. not to read anything into that. if there is something significant about reaching over a state line, or about doing something that may be related to this case, we're not going to hide it from you. we'll make it available to you. we'll certainly provide you with that information. but, you know, don't read something into it just because you have heard that we have gone to authorities in another state. that doesn't mean anything, really. >> with the resources you have for this, how are you delegating this scene in regards to -- >> it's working fine. we've got people on extended shifts. some people are going to work extra hours. and suffice it to say everybody is all hands on deck. we'll get this done, and we'll do whatever it takes to accomplish this in timely fashion. all right. i'm going to end it, because
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what i like to do is the give you guys a break and give us a break. we'll be back at 8:00 tomorrow morning here, okay? thank you. that. >> was the state police press conference up in connecticut. let me go to larry johnston, the president of the national association of school safety and law enforcement officials. i think mr. johnson that just about every parent of especially young children are going to be thinking monday morning and beginning to think over the weekend how their schools are in terms of safety. how do you as a leader of the group that is for this kind of effort to solidify the safety requirements of schools? what should schools do in reaction? the principal of a school, for example, knowing there is going to be a public clamor for safety, what do they do? >> well, they communicate with parents what they have always done is open line of communication. hopefully communicating through their counselors and social workers inside the school, asking them not to spend a whole lot of time allowing their children to watch this carnage as it unfolds in connecticut. it's heartbreaking as it is, i think some conversations need to happen with the young people. but i think we need to really
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get our young kids away from the tv for a while so that they're not so taken in by this. this is a tragedy. >> and james johnson, your thoughts as police chief in baltimore involved in this effort. what do you think? a militant focused parent should be thinking about right now? >> well, certainly i think parents across america today should pay more attention to the gun violence issue that is plaguing our nation. and that the key to this issue is background checks. we know, we know in law enforcement that an estimated 40% of all firearm transactions occur through nondealer sales. we know all across america based upon a recent police executive research form study that just in six cities in one week, gun violence cost over $38 million. and we know that background checks work. the brady law, indisputable background work on this brady law stopped nearly two million
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prohibited purchasers from federally licensed dealers. but we need to stop the 40%. and for gunowners, even if you lawfully possess these guns, lock the guns up. keep them away interest the hands of people who are not suited to possess weapons. that's the big lesson i think we all should take at this point in time. >> clint van zandt, what do you think is the appropriate national debate right now on gun safety, gun control? >> thing are a number of issues going on here. i agree with the chief. there needs to be background investigations done. we need to find people with mental health conditions that should preclude them from owning weapons. but, again, we may well find out today, chris, that we know the two weapons, the two handguns used were actually owned by the shooter's mother. we know that earlier this week the shooter at the mall stole the weapon from a friend of his, that ar-15 that he used. so simply stopping the wrong people from buying a gun, that's not enough. we got to do a lot of other
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things on the mental health issue as well as conflict resolution to make this whole package. >> and my colleague chris jansing is up there. chris, thank you for joining us, staying with us tonight in newtown. how is it feeling right there as we go to break right now? >> indescribable. i do think that the governor expressed what a lot of people are feeling, that evil visited here today. and it's hard to put into words. i've been to far too many of these, chris. they are all horrendous tragedies. the grief is unspeakable. there is something a little different here. we're talking about little kids who are 5 years old, 6 years old, 7 years old, kids who were in elementary school, who should have been learning their abcs. i should also tell you that i'm standing in front of a firehouse, which is where a lot of the parents had gathered, were waiting to be reunited with their children. and of course 20 of them were not going to leave that schoolhouse alive. it is where the governor spoke
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to many of those people. and when i saw him, a little bit earlier tonight after he made a brief statement in front of cameras, he looked tremendously grief-stricken, was trying to hold back tears as well. i don't think there are any words, frankly, chris, for the mood in this community tonight. >> i was with him a couple of weeks ago, dan malloy, seems like a good man. and that's not a partisan statement. let me go back to cliff vanzandt. you deal internationally and nationally across the country. this is not a connecticut story. the president made it a national story by his extraordinary emotional comments tonight. he said he is going to do something. what is he going to do? >> yeah, i think we expect the president to say he is going to do something. and i think congress is going to say they're going to do something. but chris, really, they're limited. i mean, we've got 310 million americans, 280 million guns. what are we going to do about the guns that are already -- we could say today you cannot buy another gun in the united states. we could have the stricter gun
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control in the world as far as purchasing weapons, and 100 years from now this could be acted out because the weapons are still going to be there. we have to deal with the systemic problem, which is more than just buying guns. >> chief johnson, i have to tell you, i live in d.c. i live right next to it. i've lived here for many years now. i love this town. like so many big cities like philadelphia where i came from, we have violence all over the place. the announcement created hope that gun murders have gone down only 100 this year in d.c. you go to places like paris or rome, they don't have this kind of thing. what is it about america that is so familiar with gun violence, it just seems to be part of the territory at some point in our history, like now? >> well, certainly as your previous guest stated, the availability of firearms across this nation. and certainly, again, i do believe that 40%, 40% of all firearm sales from non-licensed dealers, you know, chris, that's like letting

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